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With insights from our members, speakers, and partners, we're joining the ongoing and exciting conversation about everything that goes in on our industry.

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  • 09 Sep 2010 10:17 AM | Deleted user

    Digitas Boston Invites Local High School Students To Take a Turn at Campaign Creation

    Article by Barbara Goose, Executive Director at Digitas Boston and Detroit (

    There are few things more fulfilling than watching your own idea grow into fruition. In advertising, that means starting with various notions about how you can make the consumer tick and turning one into a full-fledged audience experience. This summer for the 11th year in a row, Digitas Boston hosted Eternship, a one-week program where local high school students learn how to create a client marketing campaign from start-to-finish, and Digitas volunteers help them bring their ideas to life.

    The students were presented with a client challenge at the beginning of the week and worked together in teams to develop marketing campaigns and solutions. To create a fully comprehensive client campaign, they were taught skills in various capabilities including marketing, analytics, media, technology, and creative. At the end of the week, the students presented their campaigns to a panel of judges comprised of Digitas executives and Kathy Kiely, president of The Ad Club, which serves the New England region. Teams were awarded in the following categories: Most Creative, Most Strategic, Best Storytellers, and Most Brand Building.

    “These students are so smart,” Kiely said. “Not only for the work they exhibited, but for making time to take advantage of this opportunity. They are ahead of the game and it will pay off for them.”

    The 2010 program featured 23 students from Lynn Classical high School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin, as well as over 100 Digitas employees, who together spent the week learning, teaching, and creating. Since its launch in 2000, over 275 students and 850 employee volunteers have participated in the Eternship program. 

    Year after year, Eternship is one of the Boston office’s favorite community initiatives, as it involves educating and mentoring the young talent of tomorrow (similar to a program that we do with the Miami Ad School).  Not only do the students walk away with learning experiences and new passions, but the Digitas volunteers leave the week with a sense of fulfillment and greater pride for their jobs.  The students’ excitement, and inspiration is something that we hold onto long after they’re gone –in fact, it motivates us when we’re working on our own campaigns.

    The Eternship Council: Jeff Trachsel, Melissa York, Joanna Zeman, Erica Quigley, Lindsay Goldstein, Ezra Englebardt and Rob Schipul.
  • 01 Jul 2010 11:48 AM | Deleted user

    Terry MacDonald is known for being one of the best radio and print writers Boston has ever seen. He is respected for his keen understanding of strategy and under his direction The Ad Club President, Kathy Kiely, won her first Hatch Award with Pearson and MacDonald for her work for the Museum of Fine Arts. Kathy cites Terry as her mentor from her first job in advertising and throughout her career. We are honored to have Terry as a judge for our 50th Annual Hatch Awards and in the spirit of this occasion we share this note from Terry with all of you.

    I've been reflecting on the fact that the 50th Anniversary of Hatch is also the 50th anniversary of my own career in Boston advertising. I joined the Boston advertising community when I took my first job, at Doremus & Company, in 1960.
           Not many will remember this, but the first Hatch Awards ceremonies were held over lunch! I think there were about five first place awards in those days: newspapers, consumer magazines, trade magazines, radio and outdoor. Something like that. By 1972, the number of categories had escalated to 12, and the young agency Pearson and MacDonald, whose creative department numbered just five, took five of those first place Hatch Awards. (Pretty impressive in percentage terms: 42%.)
           Heady times.

    Click here to learn more about Terry's legacy.
    To share your reflections on 50 years of Hatch e-mail

  • 29 Jun 2010 10:03 AM | Deleted user

    Thank you to all who attended The Ad Club's 2010 Edge Conference: Branded in Boston- the event was an enormous success! From Mayor Menino to Colin Angle and Jonathan Kraft, the day was full of insight into the 'marcom' community. The live-tweet still lives on: #adclubedge and we have showcased some of our favorite wrap-up blog posts below!

    "Early in the morning, Mayor Thomas Menino and two of his right hand men, Andrew Feinberg (Policy Advisor to the Mayor) and Mitchell Weiss (Chief of Staff to the Mayor), introduced the audience to a brand new initiative: Boston’s “Innovation District.” Like all good plans, the strategy was clear and concise: Create a living environment that will attract and retain innovators to Boston. With 1,000 acres in South Boston ripe for development, the Mayor and his staff plan to create such an area — one that offers affordable housing, communal workspace for businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers, as well as a fun living environment that is, well, worth living in."
    -Mullen "Highlights From the Edge"

    "During the conference, (Ad Club Chairman) Andrew Graff presented a new study on the marketing and communications sector in the Bay State that estimates that the sector contributes $38.7 billion to the state's economy and generates 143,000 jobs. The event had 19 sponsors including The Boston Globe, which presented The Idea Award to three businesses: Staples, Converted Organics, and Neighbor Brigade. The award recognized people and their companies who have developed 'new revolutionary ideas that will forever impact and shape the world we live in.'"
    - The Boston Globe "Conference celebrates Boston's brands"

    "When it comes to companies in Boston, there aren’t many that are more cutting edge than iRobot and their line of consumer robots.
    That’s probably why our friend’s at Boston’s Ad Club asked iRobot CEO Colin Angle to speak at the end of yesterday’s EDGE Conference. Afterall, the EDGE Conference is about great ideas that have been 'branded in Boston,' and that’s exactly what led to the success of iRobot, says Angle.
    No, it wasn’t just the red hot technology behind iRobot’s consumer-friendly cadre of smart machines that resulted in millions of sales. iRobot currently employs over 500 people and did $300M in revenue last year alone."
    - BostInnovation "Colin Angle Says Branding was the Secret to Getting iRobot into Homes"

    "'We are honored to accept this award, and it is heartening to learn that The Boston Globe and the Ad Club have recognized the value of what Converted Organics(TM) and our supporters seek to accomplish. We believe that the conversion of food waste into organic fertilizer is a revolutionary idea that will impact and shape the world in which we live as these products continue to gain market acceptance," said Flannery. "Every year in the United States, 31 million tons of food waste is disposed of in landfills, where it decomposes to create methane -- a greenhouse gas 20 times more environmentally destructive than CO2. Our mission is to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills while creating a value-added product, and we are pleased that these efforts have been recognized today.'"
    -Market Watch "Converted Organics(TM) Receives 2010 The Idea Award for Top Innovative Start-Up Company"

    "The most surprising and interesting presentation came from the closing keynote speaker, Jonathan Kraft of Patriots fame. Hearing how the Patriot's brand extended beyond just the logo to include the whole Patriot's experience virtually and physically was eye opening. It was a good day for Design Museum Boston who made some great connections. A very special thank you and kudos to the AdClub team for putting together a great day. Here's to future collaborations!"
    -Design Museum Boston "The EDGE Conference: Branded in Boston"

    "Small agencies rule! PJA’s Phil Johnson moderated a lively panel of local small agency leaders, including Steve Curran of Pod Digital Design, Jeff Freedman of Small Army, and Dave Batista of BEAM. The major takeaways? Traditional, large ad agencies no longer have a monopoly on marketing and brand. Emerging channels are much more accessible than, say, traditional broadcast, so small agencies can excel at them. Below the line is now above the line. Content is king, but many big agencies struggle to balance great storytelling with strong interaction design. Smallness means less operational nonsense and more client focus."
    -Partners + Simons "What I Learned at #adclubedge"

    If you want to be featured on The Ad Club Blog, send your ideas to

  • 18 Jun 2010 11:08 AM | Deleted user

    Frankenstein’s Data: Unlocking Value and Protecting Privacy

    Ben Jones, Digitas  Share/Bookmark 

    I don’t know your name, but I know where you live.  And what sort of car you drive, and the magazines you subscribe to, and what you’ve been looking at (it’s ok--we’re all obsessed with True Blood).  I know who your friends really are, and who’s just spamming you with their foursquare updates.  And that’s only the beginning.  And guess what?  It might actually be good for you.

    We’re in the midst of a privacy revolution that bursts out into the open every now and then, like when Facebook decides your pics are everyone’s business (and photo-stalking the half-stranger becomes an office bloodsport).  But the real revolution is happening more quietly, as data about you and your behavior proliferates in dozens of public and private databases and enterprising developers start to connect the dots.

    When we’re brainstorming ideas for a brand, we start by exploring things the brand could do that would be useful for their customers.  What application could we provide that actually does something customers would like?  How could we invest in value, rather than just another barrage of messages?  One of the exercises we do is to think about bringing streams of data together in meaningful but perhaps unexpected ways.  For hotel developers, a map that shows existing hotels as well as traffic patterns to surface new locations.  For business travelers, flight delays plus screening line times so they know whether they need to run for their flight. For home improvers, weather forecasts combined with discounts for indoor or outdoor projects, depending whether it’s going to rain.

    As new sources of data are made available, and new means to connect them are developed, we will have a wealth of new ways to use data to bring value to customers.  Now add in the emerging media targeting models—that use your social network, or your behavior to bring you more relevant ads and experiences (and, by the way, all the free content you enjoy but not enough to pay for with anything except your attention).  Government entities are also opening up all kinds of data: crime statistics, sickness, public records of all kinds.  We are awash in data, and just figuring out what we might make if we joined it together.

    The opportunity (and the challenge) of the privacy revolution that’s going on is not whether a Facebook or an Amazon will let some big cat out of the bag.  Thousands of cats are getting let out of thousands of bags in an endless stream and what remains to be seen is when they join together into some sort of huge and freaky Voltron-cat, whether they will use their powers for good or evil.  And while there are people out there trying to make the web safe for our data (like those fine folk at work on the Oauth protocol), we’re going to have lots of loose data around to play with.

    So what to do?  First, see the possibilities inherent in this new set of tools for brands to use.  The next time you are asking a team to concept, don’t send them to Getty for images.  Send them to Programmable Web for APIs and see what they can cook up (and invite some developers to the party).   There are all kinds of ways to unlock value and surprise and delight customers.

    Second, think carefully about how customers might respond when they see data about them put together (just because you can pick up their license plate number from webcams and assemble an on-the-fly video of their road trip doesn’t mean you should).

    Third, keep a wary eye on the shifting edges of privacy perceptions.  Most of the lawmakers are focused on the big cats at Facebook and Google, but the public mood is uncertain about what’s private and what’s not, and how they feel about it.  They’re happy to have the value (relevant ads in context), but might not be so happy when they realize how that value is derived.  I don’t want to visit the factory, but boy oh boy are these hot dogs delicious

    Ben Jones is the Executive Creative Director of Digitas Business, the B2b arm of Ad Club member company Digitas.

    This post is the kick off to our guest blog series and was inspired by the content for our upcoming Edge Conference: Branded in Boston. If you want to be featured here, e-mail your ideas to

  • 21 May 2010 12:01 PM | Deleted user
    The 14th Annual Rosoff Awards, presented by the Ad Club, recognize companies that have meaningful diversity, mentoring, and inclusion programs and was held (fittingly) at the John F. Kennedy Library this week. In addition, $110,000 worth of scholarships were presented to eleven gifted and diverse high school students - “Rosoff Scholars” - who will be mentored by a sponsored company throughout their four years of college.

    Given that the advertising industry has been challenged with increasing its diversity practices, I am proud of the Ad Club for leading the way. As Kathy Kiely, President of the Ad Club pointed out in her introduction of the Rosoff Awards, Boston has a rich history of Human Rights firsts and we are a city that is arguably one of the most tolerant places to live in America.

    Our Keynote speaker, Harvard Business School professor David Thomas , author of “Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America” talked about applying business practices to diversity. In other words, diversity initiatives should not simply be an HR program, they should be woven through a company’s strategic business plan.

    Some of Thomas’s thought provoking points included (paraphrased):

    In order for an organization be diverse and support differences in the workplace, executive leadership needs to form relationships that are transformative.

    We want a diverse workforce, but are not always willing to learn from our diverse employees.

    With these points in mind, I challenge my fellow CEOs:

    Get out of your comfort zone and get to know a business colleague or form a new business relationship with someone different - not the same people you see at every event. Learn from the experience. Shake things up.

    Be inspired by the companies that were honored by the Rosoff Awards and other companies that work hard to support diversity, not only because it is the right thing to do, but a smart business decision in the long run. Use the Rosoff Awards as a model in your city.

    Show support for programs like the Rosoff Awards through sponsorship, volunteering and mentoring - offer up what your company does best. Show your employees that these types of programs matter and encourage their participation (setting an example from the top down is the best way).

    The Ad Club has stepped up its commitment to fostering diversity since the Rosoff Awards were founded 14 years ago. How can you do your part?

  • 08 Apr 2010 3:27 PM | Deleted user
    Dennis Crowley Checks-In at The Ad Club

    On Monday, April 5th, after a long night out with The Ad Club for Opening Day, Dennis Crowley checked-in with us at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. Wade Roush, Chief Correspondent for Xconomy moderated the talk and all who were in attendance watched history unfold as Dennis shared the origins and future of Foursquare and we all collected the Swarm badge. The Ad Club received an outpouring of feedback on the event and we'd like to thank everyone who blogged, tweeted and shared their thoughts with us.

    "What appeals to me about foursquare is that it truly delivers on the right info/right time promise. When you know someone’s physical location, the potential to hit them with relevant messaging just goes through the roof. I’m really looking forward to them releasing an API for us to play with and really happy that so many people in our biz get excited by new technology." - Nicole Berard (Mullen Blog)
    "I was once told from a trusted advisor that success happens when preparation meets opportunity — I have a hunch we will all be looking back at this a year from now, reminiscing about our earned “swarm badge” (for 50+ people checking in at the NERD Center at once), and praising the serendipity of Foursquare’s (and Dennis Crowley’s) massive success." - Mike Proulx (Hill Holiday Blog)
    "On Monday, a few of us from AMP attended a great Ad Club event with Dennis Crowley (@dens), co-founder of the location based social networking website Foursquare at the NERD Center in Cambridge. I’ve known about Foursquare for a while, but it was a great opportunity to hear directly from one of the creators not only how it started, but where it’s going. With growth rates rivaling Twitter, the 1 million user mark close at hand and a potential $100 million buyout from Yahoo, Foursquare is about to get even more attention in the coming months." - Matt Rainone (AMP Agency Blog)

    "A couple days ago, I attended a Boston Ad Club event with foursquare's Dennis Crowley, during which Xconomy's Wade Roush interviewed him on the start-up’s meteoric growth and the rise of location-based social networking. Again, I was somewhat surprised that this type of interview — of a tech CEO by a tech writer — was conducted primarily, if not solely, in person." -Steven Duque (Steven Duque blog)
    "Foursquare is not just Dodgeball reincarnated. The badges and points and mayorships are all new, and to hear Crowley tell it, they’re a fundamental part of the service’s appeal, both to players and to potential business partners. And while Foursquare is far from the only social network built around the promise of rewards for local check-ins—competitors include Brightkite, Booyah, Gowalla, Loopt, and Whrrl—it’s fair to say it’s the current darling of the social media elite, not to mention Silicon Valley venture firms, who are competing to invest more cash for equity stakes in the the startup. (There are even crazy rumors that Yahoo is interested in buying Foursquare for a reported $100 million.)" - Wade Roush (Xconomy)

    Pictures from the event with Dennis are on our Facebook page and the Twitter stream is still alive under #adclub #4sq. To hear the Podcast of the event and to read a Q&A between Wade and Dennis, visit Xconomy's website.

  • 26 Mar 2010 12:08 PM | Deleted user


    Susan Retik-Ger touched all of us with her courageous story at the Women's Leadership Forum. Together with the event attendees, The Ad Club, our sponsors, and volunteers helped raise over $4,000 for Susan's non-profit organization, Beyond the 11th, which provides support Afghan widows. Her commitment to this cause was born from her own journey into widowhood — a journey that began on September 11, 2001, when her husband David was killed on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center.

    AdClub_083_9407.jpg   AdClub_088_9420.jpg

    To hear more of her story and learn how you can get involved with Beyond the 11th visit
  • 09 Mar 2010 10:00 PM | Deleted user
    In preparation for our Women's Leadership Forum, we have planned a Twitter party for this Wednesday, March 10th, from 7-8pm EST.

    Moderated by Creative Strategist, Lisa Hickey (@lisahickey), and Tweeting under the name "Women's Wednesday" (#ww) we will engage women in a virtual dialogue about the best advice they ever got. Some of the advice we collect will go into a coffee-table book to be distributed at the event.

    To get your ideas rolling, here are the four questions we plan to put out over the hour. If you can't make it online for the Tweet-up, but you would still like to share your thoughts- visit our Facebook page and write it on our wall or link us to your blog!

    Q1: Inspired by Women's Leadership Forum speaker, @ellynletters, book "What I Know Now": What do you wish you knew when you were younger that you know now? #ww
    Q2: What do you see as the greatest struggle for women today? #ww
    Q3: Who has been the most influential female figure in your life and why? #ww
    Q4: What's the best advice you ever got? #ww

    Please follow @theadclub and log-on on next Wednesday to share thoughts, expand your social network and connect with other vocal women in the online community.

    Other confirmed discussion leaders will include:
    Annette Arabasz (@ConnellyAgency) Web Developer/Designer at Connelly Partners
    Neha Yellurkar (@nehaleela) Interactive Strategy at Hill Holliday  
    Cindy Gordon (@newcynthia) Vice President, Digital and Social Media at 360 Public Relations
    Kathy Kiely (@madameprez) President, The Ad Club
    Nicole Berard (@mullenunbound) Associate Creative Director, Mullen

    Women's Leadership Forum Speakers
    Diane Hessan (@communispaceCEO) CEO of Communispace
    Ellyn Spragins (@ellynletters) Author of "What I Know Now: Letters to my Younger Self"

    Ad Club PR Committee Members
    Rebecca Sullivan (@rebeccasullivan) Rebecca Sullivan Public Relations
    Mike Rush (@mycrush) 360 Public Relations
    Kaitlin Maud (@kaitlinmaud) The Ad Club

    For more information & to RSVP for the party head on over to Facebook!
  • 08 Mar 2010 3:02 PM | Deleted user
    The Ad Club & The Ad Club Foundation are proud to announce The 2010 Diversity Internship program.

    The Diversity Internship has developed into one of New England's most premier internship programs. Past participation has included Arnold, Staples, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GSN Digital, Oasis, MIT Technology Review, Digitas, and many more.

    For all participating companies, The Ad Club offers the following benefits:

        * Recruiting dynamic and intelligent students from New England's most prestigious colleges and universities
        * Screening candidates and matching them with your company's particular needs
        * Working closely with your company to provide multiple qualified candidates for internships
        * Pairing each intern with a mentor for the summer
        * Hosting 5 events for interns over the course of the summer, including a career development panel at the end of their program

    Each intern will be offered a summer stipend of $3,500, to be paid by the host company.

    By March 12, please let us know how many interns your company would like to host. The program will last from the beginning of June to the middle of August, for a total of 10 weeks. Recruitment and placement will take place over April and May.

  • 04 Mar 2010 4:05 PM | Deleted user

    The Ad Club welcomes new members!
    • Trustee Members: Jack Morton
    • Corporate Members: Continuum
    • Entrepreneur Members: Antler Agency

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